The relationship between the Center for Disease Control and the Trump Administration has become increasingly volatile in recent weeks. The Covid-19 pandemic has put a tremendous amount of pressure on both organizations. Disagreements over the way testing has been done have caused a lot of tension. Let’s take a look at the events leading up to this massive disconnect.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the United States has struggled to keep up with the testing demand. Now that methods for testing have been somewhat streamlined, there remains the issue of testing backlog in labs across the country. An article written by Jack Brewster for forbes.com states, “The Post report comes as Trump continues to swipe at the CDC: on Friday, the president said he “doesn’t agree” with the CDC director Robert Redfield’s mask guidance and earlier, the Trump administration stripped the agency of control over coronavirus data and blocked Redfield from testifying to Congress on school reopenings.” The Trump Administration and the CDC have continuously clashed over many facets of the pandemic. Wearing masks, opening schools, and continued testing are just a couple issues in which their opinions have differed.
In addition to public opposition in the media, the Trump Administration is also working on diverting funds away from the CDC. Erica Werner and Jack Stein wrote an article for washingtonpost.com that states, “The Trump administration is trying to block billions of dollars for states to conduct testing and contact tracing in the upcoming coronavirus relief bill, people involved in the talks said Saturday. The administration is also trying to block billions of dollars that GOP senators want to allocate for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and billions more for the Pentagon and State Department to address the pandemic at home and abroad.”
The current administration is incredibly disappointed in the way the CDC has handled themselves throughout the pandemic. They believe the CDC has done a poor job in their collection and reporting of Covid-19 data. From this point forward, data regarding all hospitalizations, available ventilators and new cases will be sent to the Department of Health and Human Services. Citing poor turnaround time, President Trump has made this change to help streamline the reporting process. He has also encouraged hospitals to utilize the National Guard to help speed up the flow of information. He recommends using their services to collect more data on patients, as well as help calculate needs for supplies and whether or not hospitals are at their max capacity. It is currently unclear how this information will then be distributed to researchers, modelers and other health officials.
The effects of this discord have not yet revealed themselves. While the future of America remains uncertain in regards to the pandemic, we do know for sure that these two organizations must get back on the same page soon. A coordination of their efforts is our best chance to effectively handle the Coronavirus.